Tomorrow's PTE Release - save/load feedback here please

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by forrestthewoods, February 25, 2015.

  1. forrestthewoods

    forrestthewoods Uber Alumni

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    Hey guys,

    We're releasing a major new Public Test Environment build tomorrow. It will bring to you, at long last, save/load. Woohoo! I've been working pretty hard on it for a little while now.

    I also want to set expectations for y'all. What works, what doesn't, what will work soon, what won't work until later, what won't work for awhile, etc. First, a hugely important disclaimer.


    There Will Be Crashes.

    We are releasing this feature in an earlier state than most PTE features. This means that sometimes your save file will be broken and not work. Your game will crash when you try to load it. Again I say, there *will* be crashes. That's why were releasing this build. To detect and fix those crashes. If you aren't prepared for your save files to not work then you should hold off on this Public Test Environment release.


    There Will Be Gameplay Bugs

    A lot of code had to be updated to support save/load. I probably broke some gameplay systems on accident. Even if you didn't perform a save and load. Sorry. :( That's what this PTE is all about. Identifying and eradicating bugs. Be prepared.


    This is Limited Save/Load Support

    With this release there is only one support use case - local AI skirmish. Galatic War is not supported. Multiplayer is not supported. PlayFab hosted games not supported. The one and only thing that is supported is local AI Skirmish. Anything else is not supported at this time.


    Roadmap

    First and foremost, crash fixes. They will happen. We will fix them. It's largely on a case by case basis.

    After crash fixes, PlayFab support. This will give us two cases. Local games loaded locally. PlayFab games loaded on PlayFab. This will happen asap to let us more easily download and debug crashing save files.

    PlayFab games loaded locally will happen down the road. It just requires a way to download the save file. That's easy, but also lower priority that crashes.

    Local games loaded on PlayFab is further down the road. It just requires uploading save files, but save files are full replays so they are quite large. Many users have slow upload. This is much lower priority than several things.

    Galactic War support is extremely high priority. AI Skirmish support is a strict subset of Galactic War. Our goal is to focus on AI Skirmish until it's rock solid. Once solid we will then focus on Galactic War. It's not a huge amount of work but we have to take things one step at a time.


    Caveats

    There is no promise of backwards compatability for any PTE save file. While we fix issues and implement new features we may choose to make breaking changes to save files at ANY time. Save files are not promised to work across different versions of the game until the build leaves the Public Test Environment. This will happen at least a few times. Be prepared.

    We hope to limit breaking changes within PTE. Once save/load is officially released the save game files will work across updates. Backwards compatability is *super* important to us because we want to continue to making regular updates. But that's only once the feature graduates from PTE.


    Resume from Replay

    A major requested feature for save/load is the ability to resume from the middle of a replay. This is *NOT* supported at this time. I am not comfortable making any type of statement as to when it might be available.


    Bug Reports

    Please please please report any and all bugs to this thread. I'll be monitoring this thread closely. Lets keep everything in one place.

    If you would like to upload your replay file (both SAVE_NAME.par.gz *and* SAVE_NAME.par.info.json) somewhere, such as dropbox, that would be immensely appreciated. Especially for insta-crashes. If the bug can be easily reproduced then uploading your replay file isn't necessary.


    Thanks everyone.
    sierra159, melhem19, j4cko and 60 others like this.
  2. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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  3. jables

    jables Uber Employee

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  4. paulusss

    paulusss Active Member

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    Forrestthewoods MY MAN!!!!
  5. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

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    Woot, saves.

    Also I'm glad you're still here forrest. =)

    Edit: Ooh gameplay is broken? Sweet, back to Alpha everyone! (Do tanks drive underwater? ;P )
    xankar, Remy561, websterx01 and 2 others like this.
  6. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

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    Also .par.gz sounds like a Linux launchpad file. =P

    ( .tar.gz )
    websterx01 and stuart98 like this.
  7. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Huh, I had hoped that would be in from the start, so no way to load any point in time and only a way to "save here" and "load file to get back to where I was when I stored"?
    Makes me wonder what is missing to do the step to the "load from anywhere" function. It suggests you have some save data that is not stored in the history data. Which data is it? Last this was discussed I think AI "brain" data was mentioned in this context.

    Anyway cool stuff.
    stuart98 likes this.
  8. theseeker2

    theseeker2 Well-Known Member

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    Will there be a mechanism in place to prevent a troll from whoring up all your server's storage space with saves, as you said they were quite large?
    Killerkiwijuice likes this.
  9. devoh

    devoh Well-Known Member

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    While all the disclaimers are great, and I am very excited for this feature.. I expect a storm of "I can't believe this caused my game to crash. How could Uber do this to me? Why does Uber hate us?!?! It has killed 10,0000 kittens!!! Oh the humanity!!!" etc.. etc.. Just brace yourselves people, the resulting awesome is going to be worth it! :D
    cdrkf likes this.
  10. nlaush

    nlaush Active Member

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    Saves complete. Now all we need are shields, experimentals, space battles, bacon planets, Skynet, flying kittehs, and world peace. Then PA will be complete!
  11. mgmetal13

    mgmetal13 Active Member

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    And flying squirrels, you can't leave out flying squirrels.
  12. mjshorty

    mjshorty Well-Known Member

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    Good, i dont care about a "Rough Earlier State" of PTE, it should be a testing ground and members of the community are completely willing to break the game for you...
    ...and generate crash reports so you guys can fix it faster ;)
    cdrkf and lokiCML like this.
  13. exterminans

    exterminans Post Master General

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    @forrestthewoods
    Maybe a stupid question - but do savegames work with server side scripting? E.g. is the state of the V8 engine part of the savegame?
  14. iacondios

    iacondios Active Member

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    I wondering loading a game state that had very low sim speed will continue to have low sim speed... or if the act of loading refreshes / clears some buffers / threads / memory / etc and speeds up performance. If it does, could be a good way to find more optimization!
  15. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    That is a very good question but unfortunately I don't think computers work that way :p

    As long as there's enough units running around the game it will stress the server and cause lag XD
    Remy561 likes this.
  16. trialq

    trialq Post Master General

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    @forrestthewoods
    Any chance of getting the spec of par files? A header file would be great, or even just vague hints at the structure.

    tar and gz are common archive and compression formats respectively, pretty much ubiquitous outside of windows.
  17. masterdigital

    masterdigital Uber Alumni

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    Currently, you can only save a game if you are the only player. Also, PlayFab will only make a single save for any given game (locally, you can make as many as you want).
    Remy561 and wondible like this.
  18. Planktum

    Planktum Post Master General

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    Can we expect to see any of the latest changes in PTE (i.e. Deep Space Radar) make it into stable before you start this new PTE work?
  19. masterdigital

    masterdigital Uber Alumni

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    Not really supported (it will *not* be officially supported), but it is possible if you are clever. The save file contains arbitrary JSON data provided by the server side JS.
  20. exterminans

    exterminans Post Master General

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    So it's entirely up to the mod developer to take care of the serialization / deserialization procedure?

    In that case, please add an option for modders to DENY the save feature if they know that their mod is incompatible, e.g. because they are heavily relying on the persistence of the event queue or alike.

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